Contrary to popular belief, socialization is a main advantage of homeschooling. Here's some information about the benefits to homeschooling in the area of socialization.
Socialization is probably the most frequently raised issue by individuals who are opposed to homeschooling. And to be honest, as a new homeschooler, I was concerned that my children would lack ample opportunities to interact with their peers.
However, I quickly learned that being educated at home provides my children with social advantages. Here's an analysis of homeschooling vs. public schools in the area of social skills.
Public school children are surrounded by students their own age, and have a readily available pool of potential friends. From football to swing dance, they have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities and spend time with their peers.
However, even though homeschool students have to make more of an effort to make friends and participate in activities, they typically have more free time to dedicate to this pursuit. They do not have to spend evenings on hours of homework, and their social activities are not limited to those available in the their schools.
As a result, home educated students are much more likely to be actively involved in a variety of community activities that allow them to meet different types of people. They may volunteer for local charities, spend time visiting nursing homes, raise guide dog puppies or make phone calls for their favorite political candidates.
Homeschooled students tend to be more socially aware than their public schooled counterparts, and statistically, they are more more likely to be politically involved as adults.
Public school children encounter many negative influences. Bullying is widespread, and children are exposed to drugs and sex at younger ages. Students may feel a tremendous amount of pressure to fit in, and are frequently judged by their physical appearance and the labels on their clothes.
There are few benefits to having young children and adolescents confronted with drugs, alcohol and pressure to conform. Homeschoolers can't protect their children from all things that are painful, but homeschooling gives parents an opportunity to better equip their children to make wise choices.
I recently read a book called, Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers, in which Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate argued that early dependence on peer relationships can cause disrespect, bullying, victimization, rebellion and other undesirable behaviors in children.
The authors make a great case for their assertion that children need relationships with loving adults - not other children.
Follow this link to learn more about Hold On to Your Kids.
Although public school appears to be a diverse environment, it is one of the few places where friends are determined by their birthdays. In the real world, people are divided according to abilities and interests rather than ages. A new high school graduate will not likely get a part time job at a company that consists only of 18-year-olds.
In contrast, one advantage of homeschooling is that if you attend a homeschool park day, you will likely find that students don't automatically divide themselves according to their birthdays or grades in school. The typical homeschooled student does not shy away from the opportunity to have an intelligent discussion with an adult, and is often more welcoming of people of different ethnic groups, socioeconomic backgrounds, interests and abilities.
Most criticism of homeschooling comes back to the perception that homeschooled children are locked away in their homes, and not allowed to interact with the outside world in any way.
In reality, most home educated children are active in outside activities. They play sports, take music and art classes, participate in co-ops, attend church, and yes - they have friends!
Still worried about homeschooling and socialization?
The book, The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling, explains how home schooling helps children build great social skills, and dispels popular myths about homeschoolers and lack of proper socialization.
After reading this book, you will feel more confident about homeschooling, and you'll have answers to give those who question you about socilazation.
Follow this link to learn more about The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling.
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